The Flames men's tennis team picked up its first victory of the spring season by sweeping the visiting Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs 7-0 on Sunday afternoon at Crosswhite Athletic Club.
Liberty's home-opening victory improves the Flames' record to 1-1 on the season. Gardner-Webb drops to 0-2 with the setback. The Flames have now won each of their last two home season openers and three of the last four.
Liberty 7, Gardner-Webb 0
Singles Competition 1. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) def. PLENTZ, Breno (GWU) 6-2, 6-2 2. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. GILBERT, Ross (GWU) 6-2, 6-3 3. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. ENSLIN, Connor (GWU) 6-2, 6-3 4. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. GRIFFITHS, Alex (GWU) 6-2, 6-2 5. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. HARRIS, Sebastian (GWU) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) 6. Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) def. PUGA, Stefano (GWU) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (10-7)
Doubles competition 1. Nicaise Muamba/Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) def. PLENTZ, Breno/GILBERT, Ross (GWU) 7-6 (7-3) 2. Josh Wilson/Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. ENSLIN, Connor/HARRIS, Sebastian (GWU) 6-0 3. Steve Mundt/Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. PUGA, Stefano/GRIFFITHS, Alex (GWU) 6-2
Gardner-Webb University 0-2 Liberty 1-1 Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,2,3,1,5,6) Official: P Williams/M Kanska T-3:56
How It Happened • The Flames swept the doubles session to take an early 1-0 advantage in the match. Liberty's pairing of sophomore Josh Wilson and Goncalo Ferreira cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs' Connor Enslin and Sebastian Harris at No. 2 doubles. Flames sophomore Steve Mundt and senior Chase Burton secured the doubles point and a 1-0 home lead with a 6-2 decision over Stefano Puga and Alex Griffiths on court three. • Liberty completed the doubles sweep with a dramatic victory on court one from Nicaise Muamba and Deji Thomas-Smith. Trailing 6-5 and 40-15 to Gardner's Breno Plentz and Ross Gilbert, the Flames duo staved off a pair of match points and then won a deuce point to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Muamba and Thomas-Smith prevailed 7-3 to take the match 7-6 (3). • The Flames claimed all six singles contests to complete the overall sweep. Liberty's last 7-0 sweep before today came on April 13, 2019, at NJIT. • The Flames' Ferreira led the charge with a dominant straight-sets victory (6-2, 6-2) against Griffiths at No. 4 singles to extend the hosts' edge to 2-0. Ferreira's doubles partner, Wilson, made it 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Gilbert on court two. Wilson trailed 3-2 in the second set before winning four consecutive games for the victory. • The match-clinching victory came from Burton over Connor Enslin in the No. 3 slot, 6-2, 6-3. Less than a minute after Burton made it 4-0, the Flames' Muamba bolstered the lead to 5-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Plentz on court one. • Liberty's final two points came from freshmen Rafael Marques Da Silva and Thomas-Smith. Marques Da Silva overcame a set one loss to top Harris 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5). Thomas-Smith also won in a third set 10-point tiebreaker, as he defeated Puga 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (10-7). • Dating back to the 2019 season, the Flames have captured seven straight home matches. Liberty's last home loss came on April 8, 2018 to Winthrop.
Next Up • Liberty will play the second half of its doubleheader against the North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-2), today at 5 p.m. at Crosswhite Athletic Club. • The Flames are 16-0 all-time versus North Carolina A&T.
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